Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wildfires Across the Years

"The wind was rising and wildly screaming. Thousands of birds flew before the fire, thousands of rabbits were running ... Laura wanted to do something, but inside her head was a roaring and whirling like the fire. Her middle shook, and tears poured out of her stinging eyes."
from Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thankfully we are safe far enough away from the fires in northern California that all we see is the smoke filled sky. We can hear helicopters coming and going taking water to control the backfire that has been set to the west of us. I think how small they look with what seems like so little water. I know there is a plan and gradual steady work will gradually get the fires under control.

I couldn’t help but think of Laura in the “Little House on the Prairie” feeling so terrified as she and her sisters watched the prairie fire approach. But Laura’s father had a plan and he carried it out with the greatest speed possible. He plowed a ring around their house and lit backfires. Then her parents used wet gunny sacks and their stomping feet to stop any fire that got inside their fire line.

I wonder if those helicopters are doing the same thing as I hear their propellers droning across the sky. Ma and Pa Ingalls would never have imagined helicopters but their method to save their home wasn’t that different than what we do today. We still have to have fire fighters in danger on the ground and the sky isn't all that safe either. I'm so thankful for these brave men and women.

(photos from Wikimedia Commons)